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Research Project – Build-A-Function

Mathematics are used to model situations. Information is collected and mathematical models are created to represent the activity.

Example: A tech support firm charges a flat fee in addition to a certain cost per hour. For one job that took two hours the firm charged $250. For a five hour job they charged $550. How much is the initial cost, and how much is the per-hour fee?

Let’s consider x to be the number of hours, and y is the cost.

x y
2 250
5 550

It is possible to find an equation that fits the two points.

First, using the formula for slope, we have:

m = y2 – y1


= 550 – 250


= 300


= 100
x2 – x1 5 – 2 3

Next, using the point-slop form of the equation, we find the slope-intercept form.

(y – y1) = m(– x1)
(y – 250) = 100(x – 2)
y – 250 = 100x – 200
y = 100x + 50

Now, the meaning behind this equation:

The 50 represents the initial fee. The 100x represents the charge per x hours. The initial fee is $50 and the company charges $100 per hour.

Using this equation, we can predict what the cost of a job that requires seven and a half hours of work.

y = 100(7.5) + 50 = 750 + 50 = 800

For seven and half hours of work, the cost would be $800.

From here, we can write this equation as function. The cost of the job is determined by the function f(x) where x represents the number of hours the jobs take.

f(x) = 100x + 50


For this class, pick a situation that relates two variables or factors that have some sort of association.


  • Temperature and stock market prices
  • Unemployment and crime rates
  • Precipitation and TV ratings

Find three pairs of data, with each pair having a value associated with one of the factors. Using two of the pairs, find a function that describes the relationship. With the third pair, test the function.

You will be required to:

  1. Find three pairs of data
  2. Form an equation using two pairs
  3. Evaluated accuracy of equation to the third pair of data
  4. Create a graph with the three pairs and the appropriate line.

The final paper should be in APA format.

The project consists the following assignments:

  1. Build-A-Function – Topic
  2. Build-A-Function – Points
  3. Build-A-Function – The Function
  4. Build-A-Function – Graph
  5. Build-A-Function – Completed Project
Last modified: Monday, April 11, 2016, 2:18 PM
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